Matt Bowling Earns First Career Win at East Carolina
By: Justin Kern
Robersonville, NC – After a wild night of racing the week before that saw eight cars tangled up on the front stretch, sixteen cars rolled into East Carolina Motor Speedway for the I’m Lovin it 220. Five of the top forty NWAAS Late Model Stock Car drivers were in attendance this weekend with one of them being the National Points leader Matt Bowling.
Louis White ended up grabbing the pole in both Late Model features earlier in the afternoon during qualifying after setting the two fastest times. Doing things just a bit different than most tracks that run twin features, the drivers fastest lap set the field for the first feature while the slowest lap set the starting order for the second race.
Louis White was in control of the first of two twins for thirteen laps doing a great job holding off Bowling and Justin Carroll, who for a while had a good looking three car train ticking off laps. Took Matt Bowling fourteen laps to get around Louis White. Didn’t take to long to open up a small gap over the field in route to his first career East Carolina Motor Speedway victory.
Two-time defending track champion Jeff Shiflett bounced back from some unfortunate luck in the previous weeks. Sporting a pretty fast car and climbed his way all the up into the top five where he finished. Shiflett got around the #03 of Brenden Queen, who entered tonight’s race leading points and sitting seventh in the nation, just past the halfway mark. Things started to get even worse for the young driver from Chesapeake as a left rear tire started going down regulating him to a sixth place finish.
We caught up with Matt Bowling in victory lane to chat about his night.
“The car was pretty good,” Bowling said in victory lane after race one. “We had a lot of forward bite off two, I really feel that’s where we had everyone beat but we still have to be a little better through three and four. We put a lot of work into this thing this week practicing yesterday and today just trying to get it right.”
Bowling, who has just one previous trip start here at East Carolina back in December of last year at the Ronnie Barnett Memorial race where he finished third, told us it was great to have a race under his belt before entering tonight’s race to have an idea on where to start. “It was pretty cool to get a win,” said Bowling. “Hopefully it will help us nationally specially seeing’s how we came up two cars shy, got to hate that but overall it was a good win for us.”
Coming up just a little bit short of winning both features, Bowling would have to settle for a third-place finish in race number two.
“Yea I don’t know what happened there,” Bowling told us at the end of the night. “We were actually pretty good there at the start of the race. I thought we had something for them just taking our time. After that first restart the car was just free as all get out. It was just one of those things I guess the heat cycle affected it. Good night for us though as far as national points, we will move on to South Boston next week and look for two more.”
LMSC Race #1
P1 #83 Matt Bowling; 35
P2 #7 Louis White; 35
P3 #91 Justin Carroll; 35
P4 #54 Michael Fose; 35
P5 #01 Jeff Shiflett; 35
P6 #03 Brenden Queen; 35
P7 #25 Kenneth Mercer; 35
P8 #90 Terry Carroll; 35
P9 #22 Eric Winslow; 35
P10 #29 Paul Williamson; 35
P11 #19 Thomas Burbage; 35
P12 #19b Cameron Bowen; 35
P13 #33 Ryan Haddock; 35
P14 #51 Tyler Matthews; 6
P15 #83b Chris Burns; 3
P16 #12 Wesley Johnson; 2